Coffee Break: Anil Aggrawal's Internet Journal of Forensic Medicine, Vol.1, No. 2, July-December 2000
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Anil Aggrawal's Internet Journal of Forensic Medicine and ToxicologyProfessor Anil AggrawalAnil Aggrawal's Internet Journal of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology

Anil Aggrawal's Internet Journal of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology

Volume 1, Number 2, July-December 2000

Coffee Break

Did he see the killer?

 All right. So you are tired reading this silly journal. Why not relax for sometime with me solving this crazy quiz. Before going further I must forewarn you that nothing has to be taken seriously here. Everything is meant to generate a good hearty laugh.

 Could you solve the following Crime quiz please?

Miss Mamta Gupta was killed in cold blood and that too in the open street at about 10.00 am, on a warm Sunday morning. There was widespread belief that Jaggu, the noted killer had killed Mamta Gupta. He had tried to molest her too before the killing. The semi-naked body of Mamta was found spread-eagled on Akbar Marg, directly in front of the house no. 15A. This house belonged to a 80-year-old male Ramesh Kaul. The houses in the region were 1000 sq. yards in area, and were quite palatial. The accompanying diagram illustrates the plan of the Akbar Marg and the neighboring houses.

Figure depicting where Mamta was murdered (Click to enlarge)

As can be seen from the diagram, the body of Mamta Gupta was found directly in front of Ramesh Kaul's house. When Inspector Rajesh Sharma interviewed Ramesh Kaul, he said that he was painting the fence as well as the gate of his garden at about 10.00 a.m. But Ramesh Kaul denied having seen Jaggu or the murder taking place. Jaggu was such a notorious killer that everyone was afraid of him. Nobody wanted to be entangled in a court case involving Jaggu.

Finally Rajesh Sharma had no option but to call Inspector Tarun of Crime Branch.

"Inspector Tarun, I am sure Ramesh Kaul has seen the murder. But because of Jaggu's fear he is not coming out with the required statement," said Rajesh to Tarun.

"How can you say that?" asked Tarun.

"The post-mortem report says that Mamta was killed at 10.00 am on June 24. According to Ramesh Kaul's evidence, at 10.00 am on June 24, he was painting the fence of his garden. As you can see from this floor plan, Ramesh must be standing in this passageway leading from the gate to the garage, while painting the fence. He can not escape noticing Mamta and Jaggu. Yet he is denying that he saw the murder."

"Let us see the house," said Tarun.

When Tarun and Rajesh went to Ramesh Kaul's house, Tarun noticed that the fence was painted green. Some droplets of green paint were found on the passage as shown. Near the gate, they were nearly circular in shape and about 3 feet away from each other (see diagram). Further up the garage they were more spaced about 9 ft. apart. There were some splotches of green paint also nearer the garage as shown. Tarun asked the garage to be opened. It was being used as a store room. Among other things, Tarun noticed a brush and a can of green paint. It was half empty. Tarun looked at the bottom of the can. It had a very small hole. Some green paint had dried around it and had sealed the hole. After inspecting all these things Tarun called Ramesh Kaul.

"Ramesh, don't be afraid of Jaggu. Please help the law and tell us everything". Ramesh flinched.

"But inspector, I haven't seen anything. I swear."

Tarun became tough now.

"OK, I can prove that you did see the murder. And if you don't tell us anything, I will send you to jail for protecting a dreaded killer."

And sure enough Ramesh Kaul told everything about the murder. On Ramesh's eyewitness account, the court convicted Jaggu. Can you tell how Tarun found out that Ramesh had indeed seen the murder!

(Think up a possible solution. Or scroll through the page to find out the answer.)





















No cheating, make a guess before scrolling.



























Not even a wild guess before scrolling?































Ramesh had finished painting at 10.00 am and was returning to garage to keep the can and brush. The can was leaking and the evenly spaced drops of paint proved that he was walking quietly. However, in the middle of the passage, he heard some noise and saw Jaggu molesting Mamta. He panicked and ran to the garage. Since the leaking occurs at a regular rate, the far-spaced drops of paint prove that he had started running. The blotches of paint prove that he was running so fast that some paint even spilled from the can. Note that the can was found half filled. Until and unless Ramesh was running very fast, it was impossible for the paint to spill over. This case illustrates that you can be a great detective if you care to observe such minute details.

Deduction from the observations is also important. Note that from his observations Tarun deduced that Ramesh Kaul was first walking towards the garage and when he had reached the middle of the passage, he had suddenly started running. Why would he run towards the garage suddenly? Surely he had seen something dreadful. It can be nothing but Mamta's murder, because her post-mortem report says that she was killed around 10.00 am. This was also the time when Ramesh had completed painting his fences.

-Anil Aggrawal

 Do you have some interesting material for this section for our future editions? If you do, why don't you submit it? It would appear with due credit to you. It could be anything, which would generate a hearty laugh.

Yes I have Material for Coffee Break.

Coffee break appearing in the next issue

 Click here to contact us.

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